Bhubaneswar: In what could certainly bring cheers to the tourists, the Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha will be the first in Asia to get the Blue Flag certification. The tag is given to a beach which is environment friendly, clean and equipped with amenities of international standards for tourists.
Total 13 Indian beaches, including Chandrabhaga, will get the Blue Flag certification tomorrow (on the World Environment Day).
According to Ministry sources, though 13 beaches were in race to get the prestigious tag, Chandrabhaga in Puri district was the first to complete the tag certification process.
Chiwla and Bhogave beaches in Maharashtra, one beach from Puducherry, Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands each has been chosen as Blue Flag beach.
All these beaches in the country are being developed by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), an Environment Ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas, in accordance with the Blue Flag standards.
According to the Blue Flag standards, a beach has to strictly comply with 33 environment and tourism related conditions.
“In order to get the Blue Flag tag, a beach has to be plastic-free and be equipped with a waste management system. Availability of clean water for tourists, amenities of international standards for tourists and equipped with facilities for studying environmental impact around the beach,” said Arvind Nautiyal, Project Head of SCIOM.
The Environment Ministry started a pilot project to develop the Indian beaches according to the Blue Flag standards in December 2017. So far, there is not a single Blue Flag beach in Asia, he said.
The Blue Flag beach standards were established by Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985 and first started from Paris.
Within the next two years, almost all beaches in Europe were accorded the Blue Flag certification.